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Mysterious female pottery face sends 7,300 year-old smile

Photo shows a piece of pottery shaped as a female head unearthed from a New Stone Age site at Shuangdun village in East China's Anhui province.[Photo/Xinhua]

"The portrait might be the image of a sorceress," Wang said.

There are four-handled kettles and cooking devices unearthed in ruins, where massive animal bones were also discovered.

"The discovery of Shuangdun culture suggests that the Huaihe River Basin was one of the origins of Chinese civilization and Chinese characters," Wang said.

Since the museum launched the bid to name the smiling portrait through media outlets and Chinese social media in September, it has received considerable feedback.

"The portrait just has a head, and the decoration on the forehead suggests she was someone high ranking. Maybe we should name her Big Cheese," said Muhammad Firdaus Samijadi from Surinam.

Enzo Hilbert from France said the portrait was certainly a female figure. "She must have been a flamen. I'd like to name her Watermelon Girl or Druidess," he said.

Xun Yiran, a Bengbu local, said that since the portrait embodied the ancient culture of the Huaihe River, the name should carry its origin. "I suggest to name her the Mother of the Huaihe River," he said.

[ Editor: Xueying ]